Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jack McGeary's Classload and Expected Graduation Date

NFA Brian gives us this from his chat with Nationals right-hander and Stanford student Jack McGeary:
He has completed 100 of the 180 units necessary for graduation and given he can take a maximum of 20 units per quarter, he envisions finishing up his degree in four quarters.
Here's how it works, as explained to me by my Stanford '96 wife: Stanford operates on a quarter system. However, since the summer counts as its own quarter, most students take three quarters a year. A typical class is about 4-5 units, and a typical student takes 3-4 classes or 15 units per quarter.

During his freshman year, McGeary obviously skipped the summer quarter, and this year the Washington Times tells us he's skipping the spring quarter too (which makes sense since he's getting started with the Nationals here in mid-March).

So what this means is that in his first two years since entering Stanford in the fall of 2007, he's taken 100 units in five quarters, an average of 20 units per quarter. "That's a ton, and he's working his ass off," my wife says. (As a Big Ten graduate of the University of Illinois, it's long been my observation that undergrads at the Ivies and other top elite private schools work half as hard as us public school plebes--can't be too demanding if you're going to be 5-10% legacies. But I'll play along. We'll assume McGeary's working really hard.)

If the plan is to keep skipping the spring quarter, that means he needs to finish his last 80 credits in just four quarters--the fall and winter quarters of the '09-'10 and '10-'11 academic years. Maintaining a 20-unit pace would make him a full-time ballplayer by March 2011.

Pretty impressive, Jack. Keep it up. But if you're really going to impress the DC crowd, you're going to need to do a little more. At Stanford, you don't have to write a senior thesis unless you're in an honors program. Around Capitol Hill, we sniff our noses at underachievers who skate by with a regular non-honors degree. So you better start brainstorming thesis topics now. And, of course, we still haven't seen that GPA. Better be a 4.0 if you don't want to be known as a slacker.

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